I pinch my stomach and look at it often, thinking I see sudden changes, something new in the shape and size of my waist line, but I’m only fooling myself. I check the calendar here and there to countdown what would’ve been my due date.
February 25, 2014 – that’s all I see.
Everyday has been February 25th. Everyday has been guilt. Shame. Questions. What if’s and more fictional pieces to distract me from what happened. What I did. What I have to live with.
I remember hearing stories from women close to me about terminating pregnancies. While some expressed feeling ashamed, others felt little to no remorse or mortification, feeling liberated in the fact that they had the right as a woman to make decisions about their bodies. I scoffed. I turned up my nose and sat on my high horse, refusing to applaud the feminist in them, but rather I held mental conversations with myself right in these women’s faces about taking responsibility. While the job of a mother is a priceless one, bringing a child into this world is a major obligation to take on, but I had my two and I thugged it out the best way I knew how to at times, and so I couldn’t understand or see how other women couldn’t just carry the life within them and make the best of their situations.
But the tables turn when you find yourself in a questionable position and you are now the woman you sat across from and judged, rolled your eyes at, sucked your teeth and said smart shit under your breath to.
You become the person that doesn’t want to be judged when you find yourself in a local Planned Parenthood and you see men rubbing the bellies of their partner in excitement, celebrating the life of what’s to come, while you and your partner sit there embarrassed and contrite. You overhear conversations about baby names and you suddenly hear your children’s voices, asking for a baby brother or sister. You see the life you made on the screen and you feel just as small. You get asked over and over the question, are you sure you want to continue with this and you go home and cry in pain knowing that you called off something, someone.
I went to D.C. to attend a showcase, performing a spoken word piece on my children. No one in the audience except one knew that just days before, I was broken to pieces on my couch about the child that would never be. It was an original poem on my children being Black in America, written in light of Trayvon Martin’s death and here I was, secretly inside, calling myself a murderer. Those tears I released the night of the performance wasn’t because I fucked up my words, but because I felt like a fuck up.
We deem ourselves the justice of the peace and the jury because we’re unaware, we’ve never been in these predicaments and think we know better, but life has a way of humbling you when you judge others without knowing their story.
When you find yourself on the other side of the fence, your point of view changes and you gain a sense of what this world is lacking – understanding.
The 25th of February.
I see little girls and it triggers something in me. I smile and there I go, reaching for my stomach to rub again. Two things’ll happen; I’ll gain a sense of comfort or I’m inconsolable. Because all I see are pink onesies, lace-trimmed socks and satin mary-janes, tiny pea coats with ribbons for buttons and matching tutus. I had this image of my daughter mapped out in my head, from the texture of her hair based on the kinks her father and I were blessed with, to her coming home outfit. The shape of her lips similar to that of her two older brothers and the silhouette of her fingers. I was going to hold her hand, hold on to her, for dear life. I was going to do things I wanted my mother to do with me, and what she wanted her mother to do with her. I was going to break that cycle. And she already had a name – another K of course. It would mean triumphant, unbreakable, restoration.
Silent vows became broken promises and she’s not here, yet the presence still lingers. I hope that one day, this situation will no longer break me and I’ll be restored into a stronger woman without the guilt of February 25, 2014 because THAT day?
Life humbled me when I acknowledged that my Sisters’ story was now mine.